Family Medicine around the World

This year's 2014 AAFP Family Medicine Global Health Workshop was held between September 11-13 in San Diego, California. Representatives from all over the world - including Polaris and VdGM - were present to share in the experience.

In order to allow those unable to attend in person to partake in the excitement, we asked social media participants in the Polaris forum, as well as our international supporters, to share with us how "Family Medicine" or its cultural equivalent is written in their native tongue. Responses went viral over the next several days with dozens of responses representing all seven WONCA regions.

The numerous contributions were collected into a single list with the novel idea of placing them on the map of the world. Our computer guru Juanma Rodriguez (VdGM) was enlisted in order to help with the tech aspect and the image below were the final result.

The title is "Family Medicine around the World," as 1) the words describe our profession around the world and 2) the collection of words is literally placed around the world in the image. These images have traveled around the world and have been shown in multiple international presentations, including by Prof Michael Kidd in his recent presentation to our Danish colleagues, and in Dr Ruth Wilson's (WONCA North America President's), address to the AAFP Scientific Assembly held in late October. We felt this idea represented Family Medicine on the global stage so well that we submitted our work to the peer-reviewed journal Family Medicine who published the image on its cover for the current October 2014 edition (pictured).

As they say, "a picture is worth a thousand words". This refrain holds true with our image that exemplifies how we as family doctors have united and formed an international community that celebrates and takes advantages our differences in order to make our global team stronger. We would like to invite others to share their novel ideas and help make them a reality.

Kyle Hoedebecke (Polaris, USA)
Juanma Rodriguez (VdGM, Spain)